September 20, 2023

Easy substitutes for common food allergies

by admin in Food Allergies0 Comments

Holiday baking and entertaining can be a challenge when you have a food allergy. Every time you reach for an old favorite recipe there seems to be some part of it that just won’t work. Here are some easy substitutes which will keep those old family favorites in the mix.


In place of milk, you can use the equivalent of any nut or grain milk like rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk or hemp milk. Then add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar or apple juice to add natural acidity, sweetness and pectin for binding. Then add a 1 tsp of nut or seed butter for fat.


To bind your baking you can use an unflavored gelatin, agar powder, nut or seed butters plus starches like tapioca or arrowroot for cookies. Pureed soaked dried fruits like figs or prunes, applesauce or mashed banana will work well for cookies or cakes. You can also add a little extra oil but that trick works best with gluten free flours.


It’s easiest to just leave out fish or shellfish without substituting. But, if you are trying to make an Asian dish where the oyster sauce is a central flavor, you may want to try coconut aminos plus rice vinegar and a touch of agave nectar to taste. This should yield a similar flavor. Coconut aminos are a soy sauce replacement made from raw fermented coconut.


If you are a beginner with gluten free baking, stick to the easy mixes like All Purpose GF Baking Mix or Pamela’s pancake (and other) mixes. If you decide to make your own, you will want to mix a variety of flours to get an even taste, adding a starch and agar powder or xanthan gum for binding. You can mix light and heavy weight flours like rice flour and coconut flour with garbanzo flour.


It’s not as easy as you might think to leave soy out of a recipe. Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier in almost everything from rice milk to chocolate to corn chips. Watch out for vegetable oil and shortening. Read labels closely and choose ingredients that do not contain these sneaky soy products. Try coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, nut milks and butters instead of soy, and single ingredient oils (grapeseed, light olive) instead of vegetable mixes.

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